Virginia Truck Drivers and Aggressive Driving

Road rage and aggressive driving are extremely serious issues. Any aggressive driver has the potential to pose a very real threat to those around them on the roadway. The stakes of driving aggressively, however, increase exponentially when the driver is at the helm of a large commercial truck. 

Are truckers more prone to road rage than other drivers?

In fact, in a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 80% of the drivers who were polled admitted to showing anger, aggression, or road rage. That is a worrying number that means most Virginia drivers will eventually have to deal with the consequences of aggressive driving. If that driver is behind the wheel of a commercial truck, the resulting injuries and damages will be disastrous or even deadly.

If you were involved in an accident involving an aggressive truck driver, contact the personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to speak with an experienced Virginia truck accident attorney today.

Road Rage and Aggressive Driving in Virginia

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as exhibiting dangerous driving behaviors that endanger or likely will endanger people or property. Although aggressive driving will merely earn you a traffic citation, road rage could bring criminal charges. 

A common example of aggressive driving is trying to speed in heavy traffic. Some other examples include:

  • Deliberately not leaving enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
  • Weaving in and out of traffic lanes
  • Deliberately driving under the speed limit
  • Disregarding stop signs and traffic lights
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Preventing other drivers from passing you or changing lanes
  • Passing other vehicles on the wrong side  

 In Virginia, aggressive driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.   

At its very worst, aggressive driving is referred to as road rage. It is not uncommon for cases of road rage to, unfortunately, devolve into violence. Basic road rage behaviors include making rude gestures and shouting at other drivers. 

Other common examples of road rage include:

  • Throwing an object at another vehicle
  • Deliberately sideswiping or ramming another vehicle  
  • Using your vehicle to force another off the road  
  • Physically assaulting another driver

In 2022, 92% of all drivers nationwide claimed to have witnessed at least one act of road rage. In the last seven years, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries have been attributed to road rage.  

What Causes Truck Drivers to Drive Aggressively?

There are multiple causes of aggressive driving among truckers. To start, they are often under a great deal of pressure. They might be worried about meeting a delivery deadline or hoping to make up for lost time caused by traffic jams, poor driving conditions, or inclement weather.

Commercial truck drivers also spend long hours on the road; an unavoidable aspect of the job for which they pay a physical and mental toll. These grueling hours often leave truck drivers exhausted even though they may have hundreds of miles yet to go. Also, just like noncommercial drivers, you sometimes get a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Who is Liable for a Truck Accident Caused by Aggressive Driving?

When aggressive truck driving leads to an accident, the driver could be liable for any injuries and damages that occur. The driver’s employer could also be held responsible for the incident. 

Most freight companies carry insurance policies that cover accidents. If you intend to pursue financial compensation for your damages, you are going to have to deal with a major insurance company.  

The insurer will conduct an investigation into the accident to determine if the truck driver was at fault. If he is, they will make you a settlement offer. If they claim the truck driver was not at fault or if the settlement they offer you is not satisfactory, you then have the option to file a lawsuit.  

Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Sharing Virginia roadways with oversized commercial trucks is intimidating, especially for those in a significantly smaller standard passenger vehicle. If you were injured in a Virginia truck accident caused by aggressive driving, you need to speak with an experienced Virginia truck accident lawyer as soon as you possible. A qualified attorney can evaluate your case and advise you on your legal options moving forward.  

Contact the Virginia truck accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free consultation by calling (833) 997-1774 or filling out the contact form on our website. 

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